July 25, 2006 (by Mike Kopack) - An F-16CJ pilot ejected from his aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean Apr. 5, 2006 after experiencing a Gravity-Induced Loss of Consciousness and awaking to find his aircraft in an unrecoverable dive, according to an Air Combat Command report released two weeks ago.
USAF F-16C #93542 from the 78FS (Shaw AFB) at NAS Oceana, Virginia on September 19, 1998 [Photo by Jon Somerville]
The pilot suffered serious injuries during the high-speed ejection, which took place while the aircraft was traveling in excess of 750 miles per hour. The aircraft (#93-0542
), assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB
, S.C., crashed into the ocean approximately 80 miles northeast of Charleston, S.C., and was destroyed. The cost of the aircraft loss is estimated at nearly $23 million.
At the time of the incident the pilot was performing a high-gravity maneuver during a Basic Fighter Maneuver training mission. The investigating officer concluded there was substantial evidence that physical fatigue from flying five high-G sorties in three days, an extended layoff from flying and the mental stress associated with his instructor pilot upgrade training were contributing factors to the pilot's loss of consciousness.